According to the dictionary, “Continuing professional development is the means by which members of professional associations maintain, improve and broaden their knowledge and skills and develop the personal qualities required in their professional lives.” Continuing professional development ensures that professionals keep developing their knowledge and skills, as well as improve their competence.
One can undertake a continuing professional development program through the following modes: home-based learning with the use of audio, video or multi-media resources and other distance-learning material; action-based learning or studying problem solution methods through workplace experience; supervised research; and conferences, seminars, workshops or other technical and professional events and meetings.
Continuing professional development accentuates a person’s education, development and effective professional performance. In the US, professional organizations are also making continuing education mandatory, either as a requirement of membership renewal or licensing retention. Government organizations, professional bodies, employment organizations, individual employees and professional development providers are increasingly stressing continuing professional development programs. A continuing professional development program requires systematic, ongoing, and self-directed learning that would ensure continued competence and an indisputable professional responsibility.
These programs offer courses that can provide the flexibility of a part-time study together with world-class postgraduate education and professional development. A professional can develop his skills through a variety of workshops, seminars, short courses, certificates, diplomas and master’s degrees as well as online courses across a wide range of disciplines. You can also study for short non-accredited specialist courses, which gives a person opportunity to be abreast with the latest changes in his profession.
Continuing professional development is important for the development of one’s career and can be used by organizations and individuals to investigate how learning can be best applied to support organizational objectives and sustain a competitive advantage.